Kathrin Koslicki appointed to a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

A Canada Research Chair in Epistemology and Metaphysics at the University of Alberta

31 March 2014

The Department of Philosophy is delighted to announce that Dr. Kathrin Koslicki has been appointed to a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Epistemology and Metaphysics. Of the 102 Chairholders named in the March 28 announcement by the Canada Research Chairs Program, the University of Alberta received the only Tier 1 Chair in Philosophy. (News announcement of all new Canada Research Chairs at the University of Alberta.)

Congratulations Kathrin!

Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs have an initial duration of 7 years, and are renewable once. In addition to graduate teaching and supervision, Kathrin Koslicki will use her Chair to conduct research on the metaphysical topics of (1) parts and wholes, (2) grounding, fundamentality, ontological dependence, and substancehood, (3) essence, necessity and real definition, (4) truthmaking, and (5) artifacts and artworks. Using a neo-Aristotelian approach, she plans to publish her account of these issues in a new monograph, tentatively titled Independence and Unity: A Theory of Fundamentality for Substances. In 2014-15, Kathrin is also organizing a speaker series on Current Topics in Metaphysics.

Canada Research Chair project description: Metaphysics, the study of being in its most general form, is traditionally seen as one of the central areas of philosophy and has been practiced since the beginning of Western philosophy. Analytic metaphysics is a more modern style of metaphysics which incorporates the methods of general analytic philosophy: it employs the tools of formal logic, aims for compatibility with science, and strives to achieve argumentative clarity and precision. A significant reorientation is currently under way in analytic metaphysics, away from an almost exclusive focus on questions of existence ("What is there?") and towards a greater concentration on questions of structure and dependence. The study of parts and wholes in particular thrives under this reorientation, since wholes are evidently structured entities which depend on their parts in certain interesting ways. By placing the notions of structure and dependence at the very center of her research program, Kathrin seeks to develop a viable neo-Aristotelian approach to metaphysics for the 21st century.